Yahoo! Partners with X1 for Desktop Search

Portal player Yahoo is expected to reveal details about the upcoming release of its free desktop search tool today, which will be based on technology from established player X1.

The company didn’t say whether the tool will be ad supported or whether it will simply be part of an effort to increase user loyalty and search volume on Yahoo Search.

“Our first priority with Yahoo desktop search is to bring value to Yahoo users’ search experience,” a spokesperson said in a statement. “Initially, Yahoo desktop search will be deployed as a test product and we will utilize this test phase to gather feedback that will be critical to future development decisions.”

Yahoo has put a serious emphasis on search in the past couple of years, and benefited by attracting increased search marketing dollars.

Yahoo said the Windows-based tool, which lets users search through email, email attachments and files, will be released “in the coming weeks.” The company says it plans to add more features to the tool in the future, allowing users to search across both Yahoo and the Web. Specifically, the company said users will eventually be able to search through their personal Yahoo search history, their Yahoo Address Book, their Yahoo Photos and their Yahoo Groups.

Competitor Google already released a beta of its desktop search offering, and Microsoft’s MSN is working on a desktop search tool, too. With the X1 tool as a foundation, Yahoo’s product will be more full-featured than Google’s is currently, but it will also consume more system resources such as disk space and RAM.

Yahoo didn’t share the genesis of its relationship with X1, but the two could potentially have been introduced by Yahoo’s Overture division. Overture and X1 share a common heritage, both having been incubated by idealab.

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